PEOPLE FOR TREES

Tuesday, October 4 at 7pm at the Historic Green Street Church, 510 Indiana Ave., Englewood

Our guest speaker will be Samantha Gentrup, a local teacher and environmental advocate. She will be representing People for Trees, a grass-roots effort that began in 1997 and grew into a 501©3 non-profit organization and is celebrating 25 years of promoting the many benefits of trees.
These include providing oxygen, shade, noise and light buffers, controlling storm water runoff, and soil erosion and cooling our ever increasing temperatures since the presence of trees can reduce outside temperatures by as much as 15 degrees.
Samantha Gentrup is a local teacher and environmental advocate. She is originally from Ohio, but moved to Florida in 2015 because of her love of wildlife and water.
When SWFL experienced the red tide ecological crisis in 2018, Samantha co-led a statewide demonstration in which close to 10,000 people simultaneously stood in solidarity from coast to coast in an event called Hands Along the Water in order to bring awareness to Florida’s failing ecosystems.
Hands Along the Water continued as a grassroots movement to engage local communities in education and outreach in order to promote reverence and respect for Florida’s most valuable resource: ecosystems.
Samantha enjoys teaching her students about environmental protection and empowering her students to make a difference.
In her free time, she enjoys gardening, kayaking, paddle boarding, sand volleyball, and her dogs and cats (all rescues).
She has converted her lawn to a butterfly garden that is over seventy percent native plants and hosts numerous species of butterflies and birds as well as bees, rabbits, and more.
Over the course of 25 years, People for Trees has continually provided opportunities for people to interact with and embrace the natural world with events such as the annual Tree Fair since 1999 and the annual Tour de North Port bicycle ride since 2012, kayak outings and hikes featuring “The Hidden Jewel of North Port”, the Myakkahatchee Creek, and providing educational “Florida-friendly Yard” workshops.
Join us Tuesday, October 4 at 7pm at the Historic Green Street Church, 510 Indiana Ave., Englewood. Admission is free but donations for the upkeep of the iconic building will be greatly appreciated.

Our Tree Sponsors

We thank the following people and organizations for sponsoring our trees:


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American Rescue Plan Grant

Funding has been provided to the Lemon Bay Historical Society by Florida Humanities through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021. NEH is committed to Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan.

Due to the pandemic, the Lemon Bay Historical Society had to cancel its traditional monthly community programs. Fundraising events were also canceled. The Society is responsible for maintaining the historic Green Street Church building and its property.

To help fund general operating expenses, the Historical Society has received a $2,500 “American Rescue Plan” grant from Florida Humanities. These expenses include lawn mowing, water, electricity, landscaping maintenance, insurance, taxes, building upkeep, etc.

OUR MISSION
In 1985, the Lemon Bay Historical Society was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization whose mission was “for the specific purposes of perpetuating the legacy of the past and honoring the pioneer settlers of the Lemon Bay area.”  To carry out this mission the Society:

  • Presents programs on history, archaeology, music, wildlife and historical preservation
  • Schedules talks about and reenactments of persons of local historical interest
  • Invites local authors who write about historical events to discuss their works
  • Publishes and sells books on local history, Englewood pioneers and local lore
  • Maintains the Historic Green Street Church building for community use

WHAT IS THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN?

This year Florida Humanities awarded 129 organizations a total of $1.88 million in “American Rescue Plan” (ARP) funding, helping to retain more than 400 humanities jobs, support rent and utility costs, implement technology needs and more for small to midsize organizations.

When the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was passed by Congress on March 11, 2021, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) received $135 million to assist humanities organizations across the country affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The state humanities councils, including Florida Humanities, each received a portion of the NEH award to provide short term general operating support in their respective states to museums, archives, historic sites, and other humanities-focused nonprofits.

WHAT IS THE NEH?
On September 29, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act into law. This law created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The purpose of the NEH is to advance the humanities and its respective disciplines into the public square.
The NEH soon realized the immense challenge of its mission. To respond more effectively to local needs, the NEH decided to establish a humanities council in every state, plus six U.S. territories. Florida Humanities was established in 1973.

WHAT DOES FLORIDA HUMANITIES DO?
Florida Humanities works with local humanities organizations to accomplish its mission. This includes libraries, museums, and historical societies, among others. Like the Lemon Bay Historical Society, many of these organizations are committed to their communities and rely on volunteers and limited funding to sustain their operations.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by the Lemon Bay Historical Society, do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

MEMBERSHIP
The Lemon Bay Historical Society welcomes new members. You do not need to be a historian to join, just someone interested in preserving the history of Englewood. For information visit: https://lemonbayhistory.com/about-us/

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Historical Society Receives Grant

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the Lemon Bay Historical Society has had to cancel its traditional monthly community programs. Fundraising events were also canceled. The Society is responsible for maintaining the historic Green Street Church building and its property.

To help fund general operating expenses, the Historical Society has received a $5000 CARES grant from Florida Humanities. These expenses include lawn mowing, water, electricity, landscaping maintenance, insurance, taxes, building upkeep, etc.

MISSION
In 1985, the Lemon Bay Historical Society was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization whose mission was “for the specific purposes of perpetuating the legacy of the past and honoring the pioneer settlers of the Lemon Bay area.”
To carry out this mission the Society:

  • Presents programs on history, archaeology, music, wildlife, preservation of area historic buildings and opportunities to visit them, persons of historical interest and authors who write about historical events.
  • Publishes and sells books on local history, Englewood pioneers and local lore
  • Maintains the Historic Green Street Church building for community use.

THE CARES ACT
With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020 the NEH received $75 million to distribute to cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus, COVID-19

WHAT IS THE NEH?
On September 29, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act into law. This law created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The purpose of the NEH is to advance the humanities and its respective disciplines into the public square.
The NEH soon realized the immense challenge of its mission. To respond more effectively to local needs, the NEH decided to establish a humanities council in every state, plus six U.S. territories. Florida Humanities was established in 1973.

WHAT DOES FLORIDA HUMANITIES DO?
Florida Humanities works with local humanities organizations to accomplish its mission. This includes libraries, museums, and historical societies, among others. Like the Lemon Bay Historical Society, many of these organizations are committed to their communities and rely on volunteers and limited funding to sustain their operations.

MEMBERSHIP
The Lemon Bay Historical Society welcomes new members. You do not need to be a historian to join, just someone interested in preserving the history of Englewood. For information visit: https://lemonbayhistory.com/about-us/

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Christmas wishes for Green Street Church

By STEVE REILLY Staff Writer for the Englewood Sun

Lemon Bay Historical Society treasurer Carol Garrett, president Charlie Hicks and vice president Esther Horton thank all those who donated to resettle the historic Green Street Church and Museum at the Lemon Bay Cemetery. SUN PHOTO BY CHRIS PORTER

ENGLEWOOD — The historic Green Street Church is settled in its new location at the Lemon
Bay Cemetery on South Indiana Avenue — but that doesn’t mean the work is completed.
The Lemon Bay Historical Society still needs help before the 90-year-old historic building can
be reopened to the public. The members put together a wish list they hope donors can help fill.
“We still need help financially and in-kind help,” Historical Society president Charlie Hicks
said. “We’re at a standstill.”

The project has proven expensive, far more so than anticipated. The nonprofit Historical
Society raised $161,000 through donations and grants of which $160,000 has been spent on
the project.

After a year-long wait, in September, in the middle of the night, R.E. Johnson & Sons movers
lifted the 90-year-old church onto a trailer, tied it down securely and inched it from its
longtime location on West Green Street to the Lemon Bay Cemetery on South Indiana Avenue
(State Road 776). The 1.1-mile journey took most of the night at around 4 mph.

The church was gently set down at the southeast corner of the cemetery, its new permanent
home. In October, the steeple — which was removed before the move — was placed atop the
church.

Since then, Leo Pfliger Construction, the Englewood contractor overseeing the project for the
Historic Society, began work on a retention pond that’s required by Sarasota County and
preparing the site for the finishing touches.

Historical Society members had hoped to reopen soon after the new year, but a lot more work
needs to be completed — such as landscaping, lighting, a parking area, handicap-accessible
ramp, and hook ups to utilities — before the county will issue its certificate of occupancy to the
Historical Society.

The Historical Society will have access to a $50,000 grant from the Sarasota CountyEnglewood Community Redevelopment Agency. However, the grant provides reimbursement
funds the Historical Society only receives after it completes all the work and garners permit
approvals required by Sarasota County. The historic building has to have its certificate of
occupancy before the county will release the $50,000.

“We can’t plan anything,” Hicks said.
Members are continuing their fundraising efforts. The Lemon Bay Garden Club, Florida Native
Plant Society and the Master Gardeners are all ready to assist with the landscaping, which is
also required by the county.

The church had been Englewood’s first house of worship and for years sat on property the
Historical Society leased from the Crosspoint Church of the Nazarene on West Green Street.
The Historical Society bought property at the cemetery so the church can have its “forever
home.”

The historic building hasn’t seen a religious service in decades, but the Historical Society
schedules weddings, memorial services, meetings and other community events at the church.
The Historical Society is now planning for a fundraiser 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Englewood
United Methodist Church, 700 E. Dearborn St. That happens to be the congregation that
originally built the church nine decades ago. The fundraiser will include a video highlighting
the move and a performance by John Tuff & Friends.

Email: reilly@sun-herald.com

Historic church wish list
The nonprofit Lemon Bay Historical Society depends upon donations and hopes donors will help fulfill their
wish for the reopening historic Green Street Church:
• Changeable letter sign for front of building
• Irrigation for landscape plants; soaker hoses. Maybe an irrigation well.
• Handicap signs.
• Concrete parking bumpers.
• Sidewalks completed.
• Solar-powered parking lights.
• 11 silver buttonwood trees.
• 109 cocoplum plants.
• Two black olive trees
• 14 bags of organic mulch.

 

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2019 CRACKER FAIR

DOWNLOAD VENDOR FORM FOR 2019

Food Vendors, Artists, Authors, Local Merchants, Crafts, Music, and more 

 Lemon Dessert Baking Contest

Located in Pioneer Plaza, Dearborn Street, Englewood, Florida.

Enjoy Classic Country Music with John Tuff and Friends at the 2019 Cracker Fair!

 

New to the Cracker Fair, enjoy Singer/Songwriter James Hawkins!


 

CRACKER FAIR 2018:

(CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW)
(CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW)

CLICK TO SEE THE 2018 CRACKER FAIR HIGHLIGHT VIDEO


A great crowd on a great day at last year’s Fair watching a whip cracking demonstration by Isabella Park from the Bit of Hope Ranch. (See video below.)
Cracker whip demonstration by Isabella Park of Englewood’s Bit of Hope Ranch
John Tuff and Friends will be back with great county music.  (Video below)

We thank our 2018 Cracker Fair Sponsors! Please support them:

OLDE VILLAGE PUBLIX
PIONEER DAYS COMMITTEE
RON A. SMITH INSURANCE
Sarasota County Community Redevelopment Agency

Thanks to all who helped make the 2018 CRACKER FAIR a success!

We are proud to list, in no particular order, the vendors, artists, merchants and organizations who were at the 16th Annual Cracker Fair: Variety, Food, Fun and new discoveries.

Pioneer Days Committee: Kids’ Free Arts & Crafts Tent

Catharina Bearse: pastel paintings

Angler Pocket Guides

FurBaby Beds

S&K’s Nice Stuff

Les Caraher, mountain music

John Tuff and Friends, classical Western music

Hazy’s What Knots

Shabby Chic Boutique

RJ Coons: Southwest Florida mysteries Blaine Sterling novels

D.L. Havlin: Florida action mysteries, historical fiction, thrillers

Brenda Spalding: adult mystery novels

Southern Yankee Foods

Jane Deutsch: painted visors, jewelry

Young Living Essential Oils

Artist Karen Dukes, LMC Outdoors

Uniqpottery

Glassy Lady Jewelry

925 Fabulous Jewelry

Mermaid Jewelry

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Trinkets & Treasures

Blasé Van Thomme: pens, key chains

Pat Vettese

Eden East

Wagon Wheel Décor

Pretty Girl Cosmetics

Morgan’s Goat Soap

Punta Gorda Historical Society: swamp cabbage

Peace River Wildlife Center: birds of prey

Susan Klaus: fantasies & thrillers; part owner of a thoroughbred horse farm
and cattle ranch

Clarissa Thomasson, Salt Marsh Publications: Florida historical fiction

Bob Fuqua: books, fossils, sharks teeth

Sarasota County Mosquito Management

Elsie Quirk and Charlotte Libraries

S.H.O.R.E.: fresh lemonade

Sarasota County Englewood Community Redevelopment Agency

Designs by Patrice

Sweet Leaf Relief (wellness foods)

Englewood Masonic Lodge 360

N&G Cornhole

Paradise Hot Dogs

G & E Concessions: funnel cakes, fresh fruit smoothies

What is a Cracker?

It is said the term “Cracker” comes from the cracking of the whip Florida cow hunters used to herd cattle. Florida was the first cattle producing state in America — not Texas, not Missouri – Florida. In the early 1500s Spanish conquistadors landed on the shores of Florida and attempted to colonize the area. They were thwarted and attacked by Native Americans. The colonists abandoned their quest, leaving behind horses, hogs and Andalusian cattle they had brought by ship: this was the first livestock in North America.

“Florida Crackers” by Frederick Remington

The Florida livestock bred and ran wild for centuries. Prior to the Civil War, a rugged brand of individual settled along Florida’s central corridor. They relied on bullwhips to flush cows out of the palmetto scrub. They used 10-to-12-foot-long whips made of braided leather. The snaps of these whips would break the sound barrier making a loud CRACK. Thus these early settlers became known as Cracker Cowmen, Cow Hunters, or Florida Crackers. They provided food for the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and also rounded up cattle for shipment to Cuba. The Cubans loved Florida beef and paid for the cattle with gold doubloons. Today the term Cracker is used to refer to anyone who is a true native Floridian.

At this year’s Cracker Fair there will be classic country music by John Tuff and Friends, historical songwriter James Hawkins will be returning to our stage and we are looking forward to be introducing a few new artists as well. There will also be a Cracker whip demonstration, local food, a lemon dessert baking contest, kid’s games and all sorts of crafts and fun for all. Come one, come all: Saturday, February 8th from 10 to 4 at Dearborn Plaza (AKA Pioneer Park) on Dearborn Street. Admission is free.


A Litard Knot Floater

The storm was a “litard knot floater.” Mike Miller (with Florida Backroads Travel.com) quotes his friend Howard who is a Florida Cracker. A Cracker is a true Native Floridian. Mike says Crackers have a language of their own. He explains, “a ‘litard’ is a fat pine knot used like kindling to start fires. A fat pine knot is very heavy, and it takes a lot of water to make it float.”

Most Floridians say the term Cracker comes from the cracking of the whip Florida cow hunters used to herd cattle.

Physicists Alain Goriely and Tyler McMillen at the University of Arizona explain: “The crack of a whip comes from a loop traveling along the whip, gaining speed until it reaches the speed of sound and creates a sonic boom. Even though some parts of the whip travel at greater speeds, it is the loop itself that generates the sonic boom.”

For the past sixteen years Englewood has been celebrating the Crackers and Old Florida with a Cracker Fair. This year the tradition continues. We hope there will be fair skies and no “litard knot floaters!”

Sarasota History & the SRQ Quiz

We are pleased to present a wonderful article about the Lemon Bay Historical Society written by ‎Jana Susan Paley for the Facebook group “Sarasota History & SRQ Quiz.” 

Those of us interested in the preservation of the cultural heritage of the entire Gulf Coast will be pleased to learn that residents of the southern portions of Sarasota County are just as active in banding together to guard area history as the people of Tampa Bay, Manatee County, and the City of Sarasota. Almost 35 years ago, a concerned group of citizens in Lemon Bay organized what we now know as the Lemon Bay Historical Society.

Sixty years ago, the people of Englewood started a Labor Day tradition known as Pioneer Days, a celebration which has grown into one of the best attended end-of-summer events in the state. During the 1983 Pioneer Days Celebration which honored Englewood’s first newspaper editor, Josephine Cortes who was also the founder of the annual festival, a group of Lemon Bay residents, many of whom were area natives, decided it was time for their community which surrounds the long and narrow 8,000 acre body of water known today as the Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve to preserve its distinct heritage.

The Lemon Bay Historical Society (Society) is a two county effort–Lemon Bay stretches from Sarasota County into Charlotte County. Concerned residents held the first organizational meeting of the Lemon Bay Historical Society in May of 1984 and they readied for a kick-off party at the following Pioneer Days Celebration. The group’s inaugural consisted of a mullet roast for 150 people. Making the event particularly special was that the mullet was freshly caught by founding members of the group, the Platt family and Bill Davis, while Bob Cashatt foraged swamp cabbage which was prepared using the famous recipe of Eula Davis, Bill’s mother. Next time we have a Local Recipe’s Week, we will be calling the Lemon Bay Historical Society so we all can learn a proper mullet roasting technique as well as Eula’s method for cooking swamp cabbage.

In 1985, the founders of the Lemon Bay Historical Society officially incorporated the group as a non-profit organization. They enunciated a clear mission–“Perpetuating the legacy of the past and honoring the pioneer settlers of the Lemon Bay area.” Turns out that master swamp cabbage forager Bob Cashatt was also a terrific graphic designer; he created the yellow, gold, and blue logo for the Society which is still in use today. The Society encourages anyone interested in preserving the heritage of the Lemon Bay area to join–membership dues are just $15 per year for a single person and $20 for a family. Members meet the last Tuesday of each month from September through April. If you are interested in joining, just go to the Society’s website and you can download a form.

Like the Englewood Area Historical Museum, the Lemon Bay Historical Society does not have a large collection of photographs, documents, or artifacts, but to make up for not having large permanent exhibits, the group is big on sponsoring experiential events. For example, in March the group hosted author, retired business owner, ship captain, and world traveler D.L. Havlin spoke at the Society. Havlin says “history is often my brick-mason for it can provide a building in which my story can live and breathe.” He spent the evening regaling the audience with his stories about life in southwest Florida.

Last February, Carol Mahler entertained the crowd with tales of Florida Crackers, Seminole Indians, and the history of the Lemon Bay area. The Society entitled her presentation “Florida Folklore with a Lemon Bay Twist” and many of her stories concentrated on traditions associated with the community. Mahler is a professional storyteller who serves as the coordinator of the Desoto County Historical Society’s Research Library and Museum which often shares common content with the Lemon Bay Historical Society. If you have never heard of Mahler, you might want to check out her “History Mystery” column in the weekly Arcadia’s weekly newspaper, Arcadian which is reprinted from time to time in Sarasota publications. Mahler also wrote a children’s book “Adventures int eh Charlotte Harbor Watershed” which is annually distributed to students in seven Gulf Coast area counties.

Residents of the Lemon Bay community also enjoy open-mike nights sponsored by the Society. During the last event, 13 people showed off their talent by performing original songs. Cash prizes were awarded for the best act and for the runner-up.

Events mainly take place at the historic Green Street Church. Thought the Society owns the white clapboard building, the land it sits on is leased and the lease must be renewed in May of 2018. Though the Society has offered to purchase the underlying property, the owner prefers to continue to lease the property. The Society members want to insure the future of the iconic building by moving it to a lot located on the south side of the Lemon Bay Cemetery. Currently, the Society is raising money for the effort. If you are interested in providing support, take a look at the Society’s website.

The Society’s biggest annual event is the Cracker Fair which takes place each February around the time of Valentine’s Day. Many Society members dress up as Florida pioneers, play music, and conduct historical activities. The most anticipated event of the Cracker Fair is the Lemon Dessert Contest which is co-sponsored by the Lemon Bay Garden Club. Lemons must be the main ingredient of the dessert and though there is some prize money for the winner, most people who enter do so to earn a year’s worth of bragging rights.

The annual event is held at Englewood’s Pioneer Park near the Elsie Quirk Library. Perhaps next year a group of us Spoonbills can support the Society by attending. By the way, you can taste the lemony treats entered in the contest by donating a buck a plate. Judging from the photos of some of the previous entries, it looks like a bargain for anyone who as a tart-tooth.

If you want to support the Society but you are not necessarily interested in becoming an active member, you might be interested in purchasing a “Move & Save the Church” tee shirt. The Society also publishes a photo essay book which shows “then & now” pictures of the area. Each year the Society updates the spiral-bound book–who knows–maybe next year this feature essay will be included in the publication.

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